Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another Assault On Local Agriculture In Oregon

Here's another story from the Pacific NW about disruption and dismantling of our food system security and our local agricultural community. Events like this are merely foreshadowing what's coming down the pipe, folks. Despite government food/agriculture policy making being initiated under the pretense of "food safety", this sort of action is nothing more than facism and another link in the chain of food supply dominance by multinational agribusiness concerns. It's doubly concerning to hear about this sort of thing happening in Oregon. I consider Oregon a global forerunner in the areas of sustainable agriculture, pro-fiid system security, and support of local agriculture. In any case, you should really read the article below, written by Anthony and Carol Boutard. The Boutard's are, without a doubt, a couple of the most innovative, intelligent, and thought provoking folks farming in America today. You can find Ayers Creek Farm produce at the Hillsdale Farmers' Market in Portland.

The following is an excerpt. You can read the entire article at Upsetting the Apple Cart.

Farewell to Frikeh

By Anthony Boutard, Ayers Creek Farm

Several years ago, Carol and I started experimenting with integrating various grains into our market farm. Our research led us to an ancient food called "frikeh." Produced by farmers since Biblical times, frikeh is wheat harvested while still green, then burned and threshed. The resulting grain is jade green with a grassy, sweet and smokey flavor. The green wheat is also more nutritious than mature wheat. Over the last five years, we have offered our farmers' market customers frikeh for a short time in early summer. With its smokey quality, frikeh offers a distinct and exciting variation on normal starchy grains. It is especially popular with vegetarians. Frikeh is prepared in Australia and throughout the Middle East, and is occasionally imported to the US. Until we began our experiments, there was no commercial production of frikeh in the US. There is a three day window where the grain, durum wheat, can be burned. It is a rustic process, done out in the field on sheets of corrugated metal. The grain must also be dried outside on screens. For more detail discussion of the grain, go here.

Because of the new and aggressive direction taken by the Oregon Department of Agriculture Food Safety Division, we will not be able to sell frikeh at the Hillsdale Farmers Market this summer. Yes, we can make frikeh again. But here's the problem. It is not factory food. There is no industrial facility to license. So we are prohibited from selling it at the market. Is there a food safety issue with frikeh? Absolutely not. ODA has simply developed a cramped, narrow vision of its regulatory authority. Unfortunately, whether intentionally or unintentionally, the ODA is going to stifle innovations at the farmers' market level...

No comments:

Post a Comment